How Vain Is Trey Gowdy-- And Don't Call It Plastic Surgery
One of the most prominent cosmetic dermatologists in Florida told us that "Gowdy's had multiple laser resurfacing procedures and cosmetic injectable fillers in his laugh lines. He has had cosmetic filler in his cheeks and his cheekbones were definitely filled-in and shaped. As you can see, he started with Botox and laser and turned to cosmetic filler. You can clearly see he bad laugh lines and crows feet around his eyes. As time went by, his forehead became very smooth. He has a good cosmetic dermatologist, I'll give him that. He is clearly obsessed with how he looks. What other male politician radically changed their hair and facial hair like that?"
A friend of his from Spartanburg High School in the early '80s told us that Gowdy was kind of known as a dumbbell in school but was a snazzy dresser and that people thought "he'd be gay if he wasn't such a Baptist fanatic." Right now he's facing ethics charges-- brought against him by Alan Grayson after Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy accidentally admitted on tape that Gowdy's Benghazi Committee is just a partisan witch hunt against Hillary Clinton and unrelated to Benghazi-- and spends his time whining about how the world is misjudging him. The hyper-partisanship has been confirmed by Republican Congressman Richard Hanna and by a GOP investigator who was fired when he refused to "get" Hillary. He may not be as brazen as Carly Fiorina but Gowdy is never shy to lie his ass off when he's protecting his absurd positions. And he's pretty pissed off right now that even some of his Republican colleagues are saying he's spending millions of tax-payer dollars on a partisan witch hunt that should be paid for by the Republican Party, not by hardworking Americans. He flipped out on Face the Nation last Sunday: "I have told my own Republican colleagues and friends, shut up talking about things that you don’t know anything about. And unless you’re on the committee, you have no idea what we have done, why we have done it and what new facts we have found."
Except that everyone seems to know that he accidentally outed a CIA source because... he's a bungling idiot. Eric Boehlert understands what to do with someone as vain as what he calls "the GOP's new Ken Starr"-- the media should stop giving him oxygen.
By any commonsense standard Gowdy’s inquiry has been a Congressional bust. ($4.6 million spent to hold just a handful of public hearings?) If that’s effectively highlighted during Clinton’s nationally televised testimony, and if Democrats continue to press forward with their procedural attempts to dismantle the costly committee, Gowdy’s time in the spotlight might be quickly ending.
And that’s where the messy break-up looms. The Benghazi committee has been very good to a Beltway press corps anxious to pursue storylines about Clinton’s supposed incompetence and crooked ways. This year, the Benghazi committee has helped pundits produce months’ worth of baseless speculation about looming email indictments and the potential for a Clinton campaign “collapse.” The Benghazi committee has provided institutional cover for the press to game out wild, what-if scenarios in which Clinton inevitably plays the villain, or a bumbling bureaucrat in over her head.
In other words, Gowdy provided the contours for the media’s beloved “scandal” narrative. And Gowdy’s committee has been generous with leaks that always make Clinton and her team look bad, even when upon closer examination the leaks don’t hold up to scrutiny.
So think of Trey Gowdy as this decade’s Ken Starr. He’s an obsessive Clinton chaser who teamed up with a grateful press corps to produced endless “scandal” coverage. But like Starr, the facts are finally running out on Gowdy.
..."Unravel[ing]" "Thoroughly discredited." A "charade." A "laughable crusade."
Describe it however you want, but Gowdy’s Select Committee, which has been in session longer than Congress’ Watergate investigation, is done. And it’s done because its cover has been blown and because the scandal plots won’t line up the way he wants. And the sooner the press admits that and moves on, the better because journalists have allowed themselves to be played for too long.
“The reality is that the Republican staff and majority of the committee have made it function as an oppo-research arm of the Republican National Committee, far more interested in whatever it might dig up about or against Hillary Clinton than any remaining mysteries on the four Americans killed in Benghazi,” wrote James Fallows at The Atlantic.
Yes, Gowdy’s sudden laundry list of bad news is long, but as the New York Times’ Paul Krugman noted, “We shouldn’t have needed McCarthy blurting out the obvious for the press to acknowledge that the Benghazi investigations have utterly failed to find any wrongdoing.”
And we shouldn’t have needed Bernie Sanders declaring, “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” at the Democratic debate this week for the press to acknowledge that its never-ending flood of coverage has been wildly out of proportion for the plodding process story.
Gowdy’s blind, partisan pursuit has been hiding in plain sight for years. Just like Ken Starr’s blind, partisan pursuit of the Clintons was easily detectable. Yet the press played along because the Clinton gotcha game generates buzz and it’s good for journalists’ careers.
And since there’s a collective Beltway mindset, being wrong when chasing Clinton inquisitions means rarely being held accountable, or being forced to defend wildly erroneous charges.
So most often, the fling is win-win for Republicans and press. And it has been for years. But there comes a time when the Republican pursuer loses all creditably and threatens to tarnish journalists who don’t break things off.
For Gowdy and the press, that time is now.